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babylonsister

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Gender: Female
Hometown: NY
Home country: US
Current location: Florida
Member since: Mon Sep 6, 2004, 09:54 PM
Number of posts: 167,246

Journal Archives

America's nightmarish year is finally ending

What a difference a competent president makes!

https://www.axios.com/coronavirus-pandemic-vaccines-biden-america-f1f29e00-6fac-4f48-9f0d-f8b9d9e590d8.html

3 hours ago - Health
America's nightmarish year is finally ending
Sam Baker

snip//


Yes, but: Last March, even the sunniest optimists didn’t expect the U.S. to have a vaccine by now.

They certainly didn’t anticipate that over 300 million shots would already be in arms worldwide, and they didn't think the eventual vaccines, whenever they arrived, would be anywhere near as effective as these shots turned out to be.


Where it stands: President Biden has said every American adult who wants a vaccine will be able to get one by the end of May, and the country is on track to meet that target.

The U.S. is administering over 2 million shots per day, on average. Roughly 25% of the adult population has gotten at least one shot.

The federal government has purchased more doses than this country will be able to use: 300 million from Pfizer, 300 million from Moderna and 200 million from Johnson & Johnson.

The Pfizer and Moderna orders alone would be more than enough to fully vaccinate every American adult. (The vaccines aren’t yet authorized for use in children.)


Yes, millions of Americans are still anxiously awaiting their first shot — and navigating signup websites that are often frustrating and awful.

But the supply of available vaccines is expected to surge this month, and the companies say the bulk of those doses should be available by the end of May.

Cases, hospitalizations and deaths are all falling sharply at the same time vaccinations are ramping up.


The bottom line: Measured in death, loss, isolation and financial ruin, one year has felt like an eternity. Measured as the time between the declaration of a pandemic and vaccinating 60 million Americans, one year is an instant.

The virus hasn’t been defeated, and may never fully go away. Getting back to “normal” will be a moving target. Nothing’s over yet. But the end of the worst of it — the long, brutal nightmare of death and suffering — is getting close.
Posted by babylonsister | Thu Mar 11, 2021, 09:35 AM (5 replies)

Most Americans Had Unwanted Weight Changes During Stress of Pandemic, Says Study

https://www.thedailybeast.com/most-americans-had-unwanted-weight-changes-during-stress-of-pandemic-says-study

Most Americans Had Unwanted Weight Changes During Stress of Pandemic, Says Study
IT’S NOT JUST YOU
Jamie Ross
Reporter
Updated Mar. 11, 2021 7:13AM ET /
Published Mar. 11, 2021 7:06AM ET


If you’ve struggled to cope during the past year, here’s some hard proof that you’re far from alone. The American Psychological Association released a new survey Thursday—a year to the day since the World Health Organization declared a global pandemic—that illustrates the enormous stress everyone has been under, and its impact on our health. Some 61 percent of respondents to an online poll said their weight had fluctuated over the past year, with 42 percent saying they’d gained more weight than they wanted to—almost 30 pounds on average. Ten percent of respondents reported gains of more than 50 pounds. Nearly 25 percent of survey-takers said they’d been drinking more than usual during the pandemic—a figure that more than doubled to 52 percent among parents with children in early elementary school. “When stressors go up, there are changes in behavior that affect our bodies,” said Scott Bea, a psychologist at the Cleveland Clinic. “I think those effects are going to last for some time.”
Posted by babylonsister | Thu Mar 11, 2021, 08:29 AM (32 replies)

Mitch McConnell: Enhanced Capitol Security Totally Unnecessary Despite Violent Capitol Attack

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2021/03/mitch-mcconnell-capitol-security

Levin Report
Mitch McConnell: Enhanced Capitol Security Totally Unnecessary Despite Violent Capitol Attack
The minority leader thinks everyone is overreacting to the events of January 6.
By Bess Levin
March 10, 2021


Hey, remember that time a bunch of armed rioters attacked the U.S. Capitol building in a violent insurrection that left five people dead and many fearing for their lives? You should, since it just happened two months ago. Also there was a whole impeachment trial about it that included footage showing countless terrifying moments, like when the building was breached, lawmakers were rushed into hiding, and a woman was shot. Really, it’s been seared into many people’s minds, especially people like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who spoke at length last month about her experience, saying in an Instagram Live, “I thought I was going to die.” And yet, according to Mitch McConnell, enhanced security around the complex is totally overblown and not actually necessary.

A day after Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin approved a request from the Capitol Police to keep roughly 2,300 National Guard troops on Capitol grounds through May 23, the minority leader told reporters, “I think we’ve overdone it.” Claiming that “there are no serious threats against the Capitol,” he insisted, “we‘re way overreacting to the current need,” adding, “I’m extremely uncomfortable with the fact that my constituents can’t come to the Capitol. With all this razor wire around the complex, it reminds me of my last visit to Kabul. This is the capital of the United States of America. Do we need some changes? We probably do. But I think we are continuing to overreact based on current threat levels, to what is needed here at the Capitol. It looks terrible to have the beacon of our democracy surrounded by razor wire and National Guard troops.”


Conspicuously absent from McConnell’s remarks was the fact that the Department of Homeland Security reportedly told law enforcement agencies last week that the threat of violent extremism will continue in 2021 and “could escalate to include targeting of critical infrastructure.” In a recent testimony to Congress, Acting Police Chief Yogananda Pittman said that in the first two months of 2021, there was a 93% increase in threats against Congress members, and last month said that members of extremist groups that participated in the January 6 riot “want to blow up the Capitol and kill as many members as possible” during Biden’s first formal speech before a joint session of Congress. McConnell also made no mention of the fact that, when you think about it, he shares much of the responsibility for letting Donald Trump act like a mad king for four years, with predictable, deadly results.

On the other hand, doctors say the Kentucky lawmaker has been dead inside for decades, so it’s not surprising he has little fear of his workplace being subject to another attack.
Posted by babylonsister | Thu Mar 11, 2021, 12:29 AM (11 replies)

Eric Boehlert: Does Biden owe the media a press conference?

https://pressrun.media/p/does-biden-owe-the-media-a-press

Does Biden owe the media a press conference?
Lots of hand-wringing
Eric Boehlert
1 hr ago


snip//

There are no current scandals Biden is trying avoid. If anything, his press conference might end up resembling a victory lap as he rightly takes credit for the U.S.'s runaway vaccination rate, and the passage of a Covid relief bill which will help millions of families and businesses, as well as school districts across the country.

It seems more that the press wants Biden to appear in the specific forum of a solo news conference, which shines a spotlight on the White House press corps. Biden has already participated in a town hall event for CNN, answering voters' questions for more than an hour. But journalists don't think town halls really count, because they don't feature journalists. So there's a self-serving angle to the media's clamoring about a press conference, which journalists glorify as being the pinnacle of presidential communications.

“Press conferences are critical to informing the American people and holding an administration accountable to the public,” said Associated Press reporter Zeke Miller, president of the White House Correspondents’ Association.


The Washington Post in its editorial insisted that press conferences are where "reporters can ask follow-up questions" and "the president’s thoughts on a wide range of issues can be mined." In four years of Trump press conferences, do you recall pointed, aggressive follow-up questions from reporters that helped mine Trump's deeper thoughts? I certainly don't. (I do recall that one press conference held at Trump's Bedminster, N.J., country club where local members were invited to boo reporters and cheer Trump's references to “fake news.”) It's odd that the media let Trump lie his way through solo press events and now are demanding Biden hold one because that's where presidents are held accountable by the media.

Meanwhile, it's hard to miss how CNN for instance is pressing Biden to hold a formal Q&A in the name of access. Yet CNN pulled the plug on Biden White House daily press briefings just four weeks into the Democrat's term. This, after CNN feasted on Trump White House press briefings, airing them live and in their entirety, for four years. CNN clearly operated under different rules for Trump, and now it demands that Biden adhere to the press conference rules that CNN prefers.

Biden will certainly hold a press conference soon and it will likely generate very little news, let alone blockbuster revelations. It also won’t feature insults and concocted fabrications like his predecessor’s did. The press should relax a bit on this issue, Biden has been quite busy to date.
Posted by babylonsister | Wed Mar 10, 2021, 09:51 AM (15 replies)

Manhattan Prosecutors Advance Probe Into Trump

Nitty gritty time. What does anyone know about Seven Springs?

https://politicalwire.com/2021/03/10/manhattan-prosecutors-advance-probe-into-trump/

Manhattan Prosecutors Advance Probe Into Trump
March 10, 2021 at 7:01 am EST By Taegan Goddard


Wall Street Journal: “In recent weeks, the Manhattan district attorney’s office has issued new subpoenas and requested recordings of local government meetings related to the Trump Organization’s failed attempt to create a luxury subdivision at Seven Springs, a 213-acre property that the former president bought for $7.5 million in 1995.

“Mr. Trump has valued the property at up to $291 million in financial statements that the New York attorney general’s office, which is also investigating Seven Springs, said were given to financial institutions. Inflating assets to help secure loans or other financial benefits can be a state criminal offense.”
Posted by babylonsister | Wed Mar 10, 2021, 08:51 AM (3 replies)

Texts Show DeSantis' Office Wanted VIPs to Get Vaccine During Guv's Visit

Too bad I don't know the guy. Maybe I'd have even my first shot by now.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/desantis-office-wanted-vips-to-get-covid-19-vaccine-during-televised-event-says-report?ref=home

Texts Show DeSantis’ Office Wanted VIPs to Get Vaccine During Guv’s Visit
SLEAZY
Ana Lucia Murillo
Breaking News/Cheat Sheet Intern
Updated Mar. 09, 2021 4:23PM ET /
Published Mar. 09, 2021 4:19PM ET


Members of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ staff may have allowed certain VIPs to jump the vaccine line in order to maximize a public appearance by the governor, according to texts obtained by the Bradenton Herald. When it seemed like DeSantis might drop by the Feb. 17 COVID vaccination event in Manatee County for a TV appearance, local officials were excited. “Should try to see if that would help him get exposure here,” a local GOP donor wrote to the county commissioner Vanessa Baugh, who agreed the appearance could be good for DeSantis’ 2022 campaign.

Then, according to the texts, members of DeSantis’ advance team asked Baugh to compile a list of people to be vaccinated during DeSantis’ visit, rather than relying on the county’s random vaccine standby pool. Baugh, naturally, included herself and the GOP donor on the list, as well as residents of two wealthy zip codes in her district. She is now under investigation by the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office. DeSantis has denied that his team gave unfair priority to anyone.
Posted by babylonsister | Tue Mar 9, 2021, 05:42 PM (6 replies)

Reporters' Frustration Is Building Over Lack of Biden Access

They'll complain about anything. I'm grateful for the HONEST daily briefings, something that was lacking for 4 years. I think they're looking for a 'gotcha' moment.

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2021/03/reporters-frustration-is-building-over-lack-of-biden-access

Reporters’ Frustration Is Building Over Lack of Biden Access
While the president regularly takes a handful of questions from the press, he has yet to hold a formal, solo news conference since taking office—a break from his White House predecessors.
By Charlotte Klein
March 8, 2021


White House reporters are getting restless as President Joe Biden has yet to hold a formal news conference since taking office, with reporters raising the issue in the briefing room and the Washington Post calling for an extended back-and-forth with the press. Though Biden has already “shown galaxies more respect for the free press and the people’s right to know” than Donald Trump, the paper’s editorial board wrote, he’s falling short in denying the media the kind of traditional news conferences that his 15 most recent predecessors—including Trump—had all submitted themselves to by this point in their term. “Avoiding news conferences must not become a regular habit for Mr. Biden,” the editorial board warned, noting that while the president regularly fields a handful of questions from reporters at the end of an event, “these often perfunctory exchanges are no substitute for formal, solo news conferences at which reporters can ask follow-up questions, answers are supposed to be more than a couple of words long, and the president’s thoughts on a wide range of issues can be mined.”

Appearing to recognize the futility in comparing Trump’s availability to Biden’s lack thereof, the Post recalled that the former president’s first news conference—complete with “[rantings] about cable news and personal grudges”—was an early preview of his abuse of the megaphone and apparent interest in taking questions only to propagate falsehoods. Trump would go on to make more than 30,000 false or misleading claims. Indeed, among the most fundamental differences between Biden and his predecessor is that “he does not lie constantly and brazenly, and he does not tweet incendiary nonsense to distract from his failings,” a “more thoughtful, reality-based approach” that Biden “should be eager to advertise,” the editorial board writes. “He should do so in front of reporters, for extended periods of time, and more often than his late start would suggest.

The editorial comes as journalists have grown increasingly frustrated with the situation, and vocally so. Asked during Friday’s briefing when Biden will hold his first solo press conference, Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, said he would likely do so “before the end of the month” while defending the delay by saying the president “takes questions several times a week” and citing the twin economic and public health crises he inherited upon taking office. “I think the American people would certainly understand if his focus and his energy and his attention has been on” providing “recovery and relief” to the public, Psaki said.

While Biden is undeniably busy, his late start is also part of the disciplined media strategy that the new White House has adopted, a stark departure from the chaos of Trump’s presidency, in which the former president might contradict his own administration in a tweet. The shift is welcome in many ways but frustrating in others, particularly in preventing the media from engaging Biden on policy matters and other issues in exchanges “that go beyond the administration’s curated talking points,” the Associated Press reports. “The volume has been turned so low in the Biden White House that they need to worry about whether anyone is listening,” said veteran journalist Frank Sesno, who suggested to the AP that the message management could also be a form of damage control for the historically gaffe-prone president. “He’s not great in these news conferences. He rambles. His strongest communication is not extemporaneous.” (Biden will deliver a primetime address on the COVID-19 crisis on Thursday evening, the White House announced Monday).

Still, the delay in holding a news conference is particularly notable given Biden’s repeated emphasis on freedom of the press and pledged transparency, which he has made good on in part by restoring the daily press briefing at the White House, as well as at the State Department. But with the press conference, which AP reporter and White House Correspondents’ Association president Zeke Miller called “critical to informing the American people and holding an administration accountable to the public,” Biden has come up short. According to a study by presidential scholar Martha Kumar, by this point in their terms, “Trump and George H.W. Bush had each held five press conferences, Bill Clinton four, George W. Bush three, Barack Obama two and Ronald Reagan one,” the AP reports.
Posted by babylonsister | Tue Mar 9, 2021, 04:46 PM (32 replies)

Trump Looks Cooked As Manhattan DA Subpoenas Loan Documents To Compare To His Tax Returns

https://www.politicususa.com/2021/03/08/trump-business-loans-tax-returns.html


Posted on Mon, Mar 8th, 2021 by Jason Easley
Trump Looks Cooked As Manhattan DA Subpoenas Loan Documents To Compare To His Tax Returns


The Manhattan DA has subpoenaed loan documents from a Trump Chicago project to compare them to his tax returns.

CNN reported:

By 2012, Fortress subsequently forgave more $100 million of the loan, which, including interest and fees, was worth about $150 million, according to court filings. The forgiveness was done to secure a partial re-payment of about $45 million at a time when the real estate market was suffering from the financial crisis.

Prosecutors with Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance’s office are looking into whether Trump and the Trump Organization recorded the loan forgiveness as income, as required by the Internal Revenue Service, and paid the appropriate taxes, the people say.

There are several things that we know based on public reporting and Trump’s own comments. Donald Trump thought that he was smart to avoid paying taxes. Donald Trump went out of his way to avoid paying taxes. Trump has a decades-long documented history of changing the valuation of his assets to avoid taxes and get loans.


Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance has already added a former federal prosecutor who specializes in white-collar and organized crime to his investigation. The DA is treating the Trump Organization like an organized crime ring, and he is now gathering evidence of potential Trump criminal activity.

The District Attorney is digging deep into how Trump ran his business, which makes it more likely that Donald Trump is closer to a criminal indictment than a political comeback.
Posted by babylonsister | Tue Mar 9, 2021, 10:17 AM (52 replies)

Biden Returns Portraits of Clinton and Bush

What a petty POS.

https://politicalwire.com/2021/03/09/biden-returns-portraits-of-clinton-and-bush/

Biden Returns Portraits of Clinton and Bush
March 9, 2021 at 7:01 am EST By Taegan Goddard


“The White House has returned paintings of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush to prominent locations in the Grand Foyer after Donald Trump hid them in a room used for storage,” the Daily Mail reports.

“The official presidential portraits were visible in the entrance hallway of the executive mansion in a video the White House posted to its social media accounts in honor of Black History Month.”
Posted by babylonsister | Tue Mar 9, 2021, 09:06 AM (75 replies)

Racist customers threatened to call ICE on Mexican restaurant's workers for requiring masks

We should be rounding the racists up.


Racist customers threatened to call ICE on Mexican restaurant's workers for requiring masks
Gabe Ortiz
Daily Kos Staff
Monday March 08, 2021 · 4:02 PM EST



One of the owners of a family-owned Mexican restaurant in Texas said that angry customers threatened to sic Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on staffers because the business continues to require masks inside, The Washington Post reports. While Gov. Greg Abbott recklessly lifted pandemic restrictions, Picos made a decision based on public health to continue its masking policy. That’s when the restaurant faced an onslaught of racist harassment.

“It was just horrific,” co-owner Monica Richards told The Post. “People don’t understand unless you’re in our business what it felt like, how hard it was to go through everything we went through during covid. For people to be negative toward us for trying to remain safe, so that this doesn’t continue to happen, just makes zero sense to us.” This hasn’t been isolated incident either, with a second Mexican restaurant in Houston also reporting similar harassment.


Cantina Barba co-owner Steven O’Sullivan said that “screaming” customers were harassing employees even before Abbott lifted restrictions. “This has been ongoing through covid,” he told The Post. “We’ve had threats of calling ICE. I had one guy just stand there and berate one of my bartenders and tell her ‘you’re an absolute idiot, you don’t know what you’re doing. If you think these masks are going to save your life, you’re stupid’ blah, blah, blah. Nobody wants to deal with that stuff.”

Much like the racists who call the police on Black people, the only thing as dangerous as ICE are the racists deliberately using the agency as a weapon against their targets. Sometimes because they feel whatever their demands are aren’t getting met. Sometimes it’s because they perceive their targets as having no right to be here.

more...

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2021/3/8/2020029/-Racist-customers-threatened-to-call-ICE-on-Mexican-restaurant-s-workers-for-requiring-masks
Posted by babylonsister | Mon Mar 8, 2021, 09:53 PM (3 replies)
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